14 September 2006
Medial Release

In a recent email newsletter to his supporters, Peter Stokes of the Christian lobby group the Salt Shakers, has falsely claimed that the American Psychological Association (APA) have done a turn around and now believe it’s okay to practice "reparative" or "conversion" therapies.

“I was quite surprised when it was brought to my attention” said Anthony Venn-Brown “because I’d read the exact opposite only days before.”

"For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The APA's concern about the positions espoused by the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality,(NARTH) and so-called conversation therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish."
American Psychological Association Statement August 2006

Anthony Venn-Brown knows of the psychological damage caused to younger and older Christians who are told they must change their same sex attraction in order to be accepted by the church. Anthony attended the first live-in exgay program in Australia in 1973 and for the last 6 years has worked with survivors of these programs.

“After checking my sources, and his, I immediately informed Mr Stokes of the falseness of his statements and how damaging propagating misinformation is. I requested politely that he make a correction and do it as soon as possible. He has yet to acknowledge his error either to me or publicly. Its not only irresponsible for the Salt Shakers to make false statements that people can change their sexual orientation, I thought it was unchristian to lie.”

“Mr Stokes regularly speaks of people who have left the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ but I know from my own experience how false these claims are. I thought I had overcome my homosexuality and was cured so I got married. Eventually though I had to be completely honest that even after 16 years of marriage and two children I was still gay. If we look at the Kinsey continuum I know where I lie and it’s not even close to bisexuality, my needle is banging on the gay end,” Venn-Brown said. “Coming to terms with the truth was very traumatic for me, my ex-wife and children and I’d like to ensure no one goes through the pain and suffering we did.”

“Ex-gay programs have been operating for three decades now and have an horrific history of failure. Whilst some claim to no longer homosexual but heterosexual, there is not scientific evidence to support this. The only evidence for their new found heterosexuality is that they are married and have children or that they no longer engage in same sex activity. In reality, they have not changed their orientation only their behaviour. Some live a secret life, having occasional encounters with people of the same sex but do not come out, as they have too much to lose. I.e. marriage, respect of family members, rejection by the children they love, position in the church etc. They continue to live a lie with a façade of heterosexuality not always purposely deceiving but certainly self deceiving,” Venn-Brown said.

“I find it strange that groups like the Salt Shakers are so obsessed with the issue and continue to distribute false statements, half truths and misinformation about sexual orientation. Be doing this they actually contribute to the suicides amongst gay and lesbian youth. It’s been estimated that is one every 5 hours in the US.” Venn-Brown concluded.

More Media information available from:
Anthony Venn-Brown
Author of 'A Life of Unlearning - Coming Out of the Church, One Man's Struggle' Foreword by Hon. Michael Kirby
Tel: +61 2 9699 2448 Mobile: 0416 015 231
Download Chapter 1 'The Confession' FREE on the book page of

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